The Defenders Review

It’s time to DEFEND New York City. 

The moment we’ve all been waiting for has finally hit Netflix last week, with the small screen superhero team-up: The Defenders.

Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist, are all brought together by fate and the ultimate mission of stopping The Hand take New York City in this eight-episode mini-series. Since the beginning of Marvel’s Netflix series starting with Daredevil, we were introduced to a world much bigger taken place in Hell’s Kitchen with The Hand lurking in the shadows as an underground crime syndicate. We got a taste of their deadly skills along with foreshadowing a “war” that Stick mentioned repeatedly.

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That war is exactly what starts to unfold in The Defenders. Sigourney Weaver is introduced right off the bat as Alexandra, a leader of The Hand, and she has grave plans for New York City so herself, along with the other members of The Hand, can stay alive and return to K’un-Lun. Their keys to their success, is The Black Sky and Iron Fist himself.

Turns out, The Black Sky is a new and back from the dead version of Elektra. She is not the same, and more like her comic book version of herself. Alexandra forces The Black Sky to retrieve The Iron Fist at all costs, forcing major collateral damage within The Hand itself as well as for The Defenders. The first half of the series is mainly this; setting up the conflict and getting to see The Defenders meet and become a team.

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One of the aspects I loved most about the show is the interpersonal relationships between all of the characters. From previous shows we know what kind of bond Jessica Jones and Luke Cage hold together; and it was nice to see that rekindle and pick up where they left off from before. However, we haven’t had a chance for the other members to meet and greet, and the dynamics were very interesting at first. Daredevil is such a loner himself, he has a hard time opening up and trusting everyone. Danny himself is thrilled to be a part of a team and tends to still have his childlike manner of being excited and upset when the team is looking good and bad.

Weaver’s role herself is quite prominent. She has her own story arc that is somewhat sad; she is more than just a villain and leader of The Hand, she has her own tragedy she is trying to avoid and fill in a gap that is missing. None the less, it was a pleasure to see her on screen again, especially within the MCU.

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Speaking of the MCU, there are a few nods to some of the world but not much. Besides referencing “the incident” from The Avengers, don’t expect to see a future setup for a crossover between movies and television anytime soon. If anything, it did set up potential story lines in our small screen universe based in New York City. The fallout of each of our heroes put them all on a path that they now know they can’t avoid, so seeing what will come next will be exciting.

My only complaints of the show is some of the pacing. The first half of the series tends to be a little slow. Though there are some interesting plot points at play as well as the fun of seeing all of our heroes trying to figure out what is going on, jumping around from one thing to another gets a little shaky. The only other matter is some of our minor characters from each series respectively like Karen, Foggie, Claire, Colleen, Trish, and Misty, and any other faces we may have seen before. Some of their roles are necessary as they help with some of the plot action, but the others are within the show because it feels like they just have to be since everyone is a part of this huge crossover.

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Overall, it was fantastic to see The Defenders finally come to life after years of waiting. We got a great team up that works well together. All of the actors play so naturally with each other, and the fight scenes themselves are a lot of fun to blend each of their powers and abilities together. Now that we have a future for each of our solo (and maybe team up adventures) heroes, it will be interesting to see what else can potentially bring all of these heroes together for another crossover event in the future.

Final Score: 8.5/10

What did you think of The Defenders? Did you have a favorite standalone series? Let us know in the comments below!

 

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